first_imgAn intriguing story about the disappearance of a house on Tory Island has been turned into a book.‘The House That Disappeared on Tory Island’ tells the story of a house that was demolished to allow a better view from a local hotel on the island.The house belonged to film maker Neville Presho, who was originally from Co Down, but who had emigrated to New Zealand in 1982. When Mr Presho returned to visit his holiday home on Tory six years later, it was a pile of rubble.There then ensued a court battle which would result in Mr Presho winning the case and being awarded €46,000.Now a chance meeting with Mr Presho and reporter Anton McCabe has resulted in the book being published by Drumkeen Press.The book will be launched at the Central Library in Letterkenny on November 22nd with Frank Galligan acting as MC for the evening.  BOOK ON DONEGAL’S MOST FAMOUS MISSING HOUSE TO HIT SHELVES was last modified: November 16th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Anton McCabehouseNeville PreshoTory Islandlast_img read more

first_imgIn response to claims in the media that many states are passing bills to mandate the teaching of intelligent design along with evolution, Seth Cooper on the Evolution News blog has listed 10 states where evolution bills are being debated and three more where discussions are taking place in the legislature.  Contrary to media reports, most states are not mandating the teaching of I.D. but rather seeking ways to permit alternatives to evolution to be heard.  (The Discovery Institute does not recommend mandating the teaching of intelligent design in public schools.)    The highest-visibility case is in Kansas.  The Wichita Eagle reported that one member of the school board is considering additional changes to the standards to allow further criticism of evolutionary theories, but the majority are working to clarify the wording of the new standards that take effect in the fall.  Tom Magnuson at ARN.org claims the Kansas City Star reporter gave an inaccurate description of the situation and made major misstatements.Since reporters often fail to do their homework and repeat the propaganda of the Darwin Party, it is important as always to have one’s Baloney Detector in good working condition.  Notice, for instance, how the Wichita Eagle labels the pro-evolutionists with the mild term “moderates” as opposed to the “conservative” members arguing for change.  What other political labels can you come up with for these opposing groups that could spin the story either way? (Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_img3 February 2014Investors should broaden their perspective, look beyond the obvious and prepare for African mining to rebound on the back of growing demand from recovering global economies, delegates heard at a private forum ahead of the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town on the weekend.The inaugural Mining Indaba Investment Discovery Forum took place at the Westin Hotel in Cape Town on Saturday, bringing together serious investors, important stakeholders and mining executives to discuss the numerous viable opportunities in African mining.“As the platinum sponsor of this inaugural Investment Discovery Forum, we were excited at the opportunity to participate in this critical event to drive awareness of emerging opportunities on the continent,” Mark Tyler, senior investment banker at Nedbank Capital, said in a statement on Sunday. “The engagement from investors and mining corporates in this exclusive environment was very positive.”Delegates were exposed to a balanced position on the challenges and opportunities in African mining, with speakers providing a holistic view on what has happened and what to expect in the next 12 months.Andrew Monk, chief executive of VSA Capital Group in London, said that 2012 and 2013 “were horrible years; there was no investment. [But] there is definitely money coming into the mining sector at this stage”.Angelos Damaskos, chief executive of Sector Investment Managers, was upbeat about the continent: “We believe African mining and resources are protected from some risks. There is low delivery risk because the host country is so dependent on the proceeds of delivery. To that extent we think that Africa is very attractive investment territory.”At the same time, Damaskos noted: “[T]he culture of controlling a licence and pumping it has stopped. Now the emphasis is on benefiting the local economy as well.”The 20th annual Investing in African Mining Indaba, the world’s largest gathering of influential stakeholders and decision makers in African mining, gets under way at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Monday.During the four-day Indaba, the Departments of Mineral Resources, Trade and Industry, Science and Technology and Brand South Africa will host an exhibition under the “South African Pavilion” banner.They will also host an investment promotion workshop to give expression to the theme of this year’s Indaba: “Investment opportunities in South African mining – from exploration to value addition”.SAinfo reporter and Investing in African Mining Indabalast_img read more

first_img25 August 2014Establishing whether the recent earthquake in South Africa’s North West province was purely mining induced, or caused by natural tectonic shifts in the earth’s crust, is not a simple matter, experts said during a recent panel discussion hosted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria.It is also possible, they said, that stresses caused by mining triggered a natural event deeper down. This why seismic data always had to be carefully analysed after such events.The earthquake, measuring a magnitude of 5.5 on the South African local magnitude scale, occurred just before lunchtime on 5 August with its epicentre near Orkney, a mining town in the Klerksdorp district. One person died when a wall collapsed, several miners were injured, and there was some structural damage to buildings.Within minutes of the event, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported the location and magnitude of the event on its website. It also listed a depth of 10 kilometres.However, as the CSIR’s Professor Ray Durrheim noted, the “technical terms” page on the USGS website states that a default depth of five or 10 kilometres is often used in mid-continental regions when the depth is difficult to estimate. Not having read this page, some local experts prematurely concluded that the earthquake was a natural event and not mining-related, as mining activity in the region takes place up to depths of 3.5 kilometres below the surface.Three days later, the US data was corrected to state a depth of 4.1 kilometres, indicating that it could indeed have been mining related.According to Professor Andrzej Kijko, director of the Natural Hazards Centre of the University of Pretoria, the maximum magnitude of mining-induced quakes – those entirely caused by human activity – is approximately 3.5. These happen when rock layers near mine workings shift.“We have, however, been mining for more than 80 years in Klerksdorp, creating stresses which can activate a pre-existing geological fault that lies much deeper,” Kijko said. “This can then trigger a natural earthquake.”According to both Kijko and Durrheim, the fact that the tremors were felt so far from the epicentre, even in Durban and Cape Town, indicated that it was a low-frequency event, more typical of movements near an old fault in the earth’s crust, rather than the brittle mining rock being displaced.Professor Herbert Uzoegbo, a structural engineer from the University of the Witwatersrand, who specialises in the response of buildings to seismic events, supported the view that the earthquake might have been a natural earthquake triggered by mining. He based this on the fact that there were higher vibrations in tall buildings than in lower ones, also indicative of low-frequency events.Uzoegbo added that building codes, especially in South Africa’s mining areas, might need to be refined and better enforced. He said he had seen structural damage due to poor workmanship and design, including buckled and collapsed walls, cracks and the shifting of a house on its foundations.One example of particularly dangerous building design, he said, was the parallel placement of several walls in one structure, increasing the risk of a domino-type collapse if an earthquake’s shock were to hit the building from the wrong side.In 2006, Durrheim and his colleagues presented a report to the Department of Minerals following a magnitude 5.3 earthquake which killed two miners in Stilfontein on 9 March 2005. The finding then was also that that earthquake was related to mining, and one of the recommendations was that seismic monitoring in the area needed to be improved.In response to the report, the South African Council for Geoscience, which operates a national seismographic network involving the registering and mapping of all seismic events throughout the country, established three additional networks focusing on the country’s mining regions.The CSIR has also been collaborating with Japanese experts to measure seismic activity in South African mines, as part of a five-year-programme aimed at mitigating risk and developing local skills.According to Durrheim, South Africa’s deep mines are like “earthquake laboratories”, in which the Japanese experts with whom the CSIR is collaborating can learn a lot about earthquake physics, while supporting local experts with state-of-the-art technology transfer and training.Japan is a world leader in earthquake research. The country directed renewed investment into this type of research after the devastating Kobe earthquake, which killed 6 434 people in the southern part of Hyogo Prefecture in 1995.While the Japanese researchers focus on the monitoring of natural faults activated by mining, the CSIR experts have placed sensors such as seismometers, tilt meters and strain gauges near mine openings to measure mining-induced seismic activity. They drill holes near faults in the rocks and place the sensors in there to get the best data.“Ultimately our data informs the seismic zoning of the country, providing guidance on the construction of buildings such as homes, schools or factories, in regions prone to earthquakes,” Durrheim said.The experts agreed that it is not possible to predict the times or locations of future earthquakes, but the data show that they are likely to recur in mining regions, even after mining has stopped. This has already informed planning for disaster management structures in the country.Source: Council for Scientific and Industrial Researchlast_img read more